Neel Jani developed his passion for Porsche as a child. Every Sunday, he and his sister Reena would climb into the back seat of their father’s 911 Carrera 2.7 RS and head off into the countryside. “Those trips were the best thing to us,” he remembered. “It’s a shame we had to sell the car later on because my racing was so expensive.”
The investment in his career definitely paid off. The racing line, so it seemed back then, was headed towards Formula 1. Sauber-Petronas invited the Swiss national with Indian roots to test drives, as did Red Bull Racing. Scuderia Toro Rosso signed him as a test and reserve driver in 2006. His Formula 1 dream didn’t quite come true, but he took wins and titles in other race series. He won the Le Mans series in 2011, and in 2012 and 2013 he triumphed in the Petit Le Mans at the legendary Road Atlanta in the USA. He became a Porsche works driver in 2013. The following year, in the Porsche 919 Hybrid’s inaugural season, he took the first three pole positions in the WEC and the first win in Brazil – alongside Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb, with whom he made his dream of winning Le Mans and the title in the World Sportscar Championship come true in 2016. In the 2019/2020 season he entered Formula E with Porsche.
Like many other big names in racing, he was also a guest starter in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup. In 2008. “I didn’t make it to the finish line,” he remembered with a grin, “but I got to drive a 911 GT3 RS for two weeks before the race. And that was at least as great as winning the race.”
Date of birth: 8 December 1983 Birthplace: Rorschach (CH) Nationality: Swiss Lives in: Port (CH) Marital status: Married to Lauren, 1 child Height/weight: 1.72 m/62 kg Hobbies: Sports, cross-country skiing, tennis, cycling URL:www.neel-jani.com Twitter: @neeljani Facebook:@NeelJaniRacing Instagram:@neeljani_official
The Aussie influence on Porsche’s global sports car program stretches beyond World Champion Mark Webber and Le Mans class winner, Matt Campbell. Behind the scenes, experienced engineer Jeromy Moore had a key role to play as well.